“American Nerd”

May 13, 2009 at 8:40 am | Posted in Nonfiction | 3 Comments

Which is nerdier – writing a book like American Nerd, or reading it in one sitting?

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Benjamin Nugent achieves the sublime: this nerdy book about nerds sounds like a Saturday Night Live joke, yet it’s also compulsively readable.  It’s a study of what makes a nerd, as opposed to any other social category.  Admittedly, I have been wondering about this question since I was no older than nine, so I was quite intrigued with Nugent’s analysis.

It’s not a memoir or a celebration of nerdiness, not to say that I wouldn’t read one of those.  It’s a sociology thing.  I would rank it right up there with Freakonomics and Blink for its engaging take and fresh insights.  Plus it’s short.

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